Skip to main content

Application for Inland Northwest Aerospace Tech Hub

By August 16, 2023October 16th, 2023No Comments

ATC Manufacturing, Aerospace Leaders, Universities & More Apply to Build an Aerospace Tech Hub in the Inland Northwest. The AAMMC will Establish a World-Class Testbed for Production, Commercialization, and Entrepreneurship.

Post Falls, ID  – Leading aerospace companies and research universities have joined nearly 50 area workforce training, venture capital, economic development, labor, tribal and government groups in the Inland Northwest to support establishing the American Aerospace Materials Manufacturing Center (AAMMC).

Under the Regional Technology and Innovation Hubs (Tech Hubs) program, a consortium of members from Washington and Northern Idaho proposes to advance U.S. economic and national security through creation of the American Aerospace Materials Manufacturing Center. The Center’s advancements will result in new domestic supply chains, able to meet the global high-rate production demands of advanced composite aero structures for both the defense and commercial markets.

Consortium members are enthusiastic and laser-focused on reversing the trend toward foreign suppliers and eager for consideration by the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) for the Tech Hub designation in Phase 1, followed by an implementation grant selection in Phase 2. The EDA will designate 20 Tech Hubs in the nation in Phase 1. Only those awarded this Tech Hub designation in Phase 1 will compete for Phase 2 grant, each approximately $65 million.

“As NASA has highlighted with their HiCAM program, we must speed up the development of affordable, high-rate composite manufacturing technologies, both to meet the production needs of Boeing and other U.S. aircraft manufacturers and to have any hope of achieving the goals for the US Aviation Climate Action Plan and Net Zero 2050 Goal. The ability of composites to reduce weight and therefore fuel consumption is what makes them key to this effort; thermoplastic composites – what we do at ATC – are highly important because parts can be manufactured in 20-30% of the time compared to other materials AND they are recyclable.” – says David Leach, Thermoplastic Composites Expert and Director of Business Development at ATC Manufacturing.

“ATC is one of the few remaining independent thermoplastic composite suppliers and is therefore uniquely positioned to highlight the importance of developing domestic capabilities in this sector. The American Aerospace Materials Manufacturing Center Tech Hub is critical to quickly developing those large-scale thermoplastic manufacturing capabilities necessary to compete globally,” adds Jacob Bonwell, CEO of ATC Manufacturing.

The American Aerospace Materials Manufacturing Center will integrate education and workforce training with small and medium-sized industry partners, alongside global aerospace leaders and advanced research institutions. This collaboration will enhance learning, training, and broaden the knowledge base of advanced composite materials.

This new Center will accelerate growth of our domestic supply base and:

  • Establish a testbed facility for large thermoplastic composite (TPC) aerospace materials at Technology Readiness Levels six through nine, such as ribs, beams, doors, bulkheads, and stiffened skins.
  • Advance a market disrupting, high-rate production solutions that maintains the same performance of most advanced composite aero structures flying today at low production rates.
  • Expedite net-zero carbon emission goals by 2050 for NASA and the aerospace industry.
  • Upskill our current workforce, coordinate with Tribal nations and workforce leaders, and utilize the best-practices for supporting underrepresented communities, in both Washington and Idaho, to model the next generation of aerospace jobs.
  • Center the Inland Northwest as a destination for aerospace suppliers and private investment to support new products and companies within the U.S. aerospace supply chain.

The Center’s application would repurpose a 386,000 sq ft former manufacturing facility on 50 acres adjacent to the Spokane International Airport. This testbed will reflect an inclusive framework designed to expedite the evolution and commercialization of the domestic aerospace supply chain, foster education, attract robust entrepreneurial interest, and drive private sector investments into new companies.

The two-phase Technology Hubs awards are decided by the Economic Development Administration (EDA) in coordination with the National Science Foundation (NSF) under the U.S. Department of Commerce. Selection is based on: potential of the region for global competitiveness; participation of industry; equity and inclusion; capacity of workforce; “lab to market” products; and overall impact on American economic and national security. Due to the strong regional collaboration of this consortium, the American Aerospace Materials Manufacturing Center application excels in each of these categories and looks forward to working together to further this exciting opportunity for the Inland Northwest and the nation.

Consortium Members — American Aerospace Materials Manufacturing Center

Aerospace and Industry Leaders

  • Boeing
  • Unitech Composites Inc.
  • Electroimpact
  • Advanced Thermoplastics Composites (ATC) Manufacturing
  • Northwest I-90 Manufacturing Alliance
  • StanCraft
  • Avista
  • Continuous Composites Incorporated (CCI)
  • Blue Origin
  • Raytheon/Collins
  • Lockheed Martin

Higher Education and Secondary Education

  • Gonzaga University
  • University of Idaho
  • University of Washington
  • Eastern Washington University
  • Community Colleges of Spokane
  • North Idaho College
  • Spokane Public Schools
  • Coeur d’Alene Public Schools
  • Elevate North Academy
  • Washington State University

Venture Development

  • Washington Trust Bank
  • Lakeside Companies

Workforce Development and Labor

  • Spokane Workforce Council
  • International Association of Machinists District 751
  • Machinists Institute
  • Idaho Workers Development Council
  • Coeur d’Alene Economic Development Corporation

Government, Tribes, and Economic Development

  • Washington State Department of Commerce
  • Idaho State Department of Commerce
  • Spokane Tribe of Indians
  • Kalispel Tribe of Indians
  • City of Post Falls
  • City of Coeur d’Alene
  • Spokane County
  • Greater Spokane Inc.
  • S3R3 Solutions
  • Spokane International Airport
  • Coeur d’Alene Regional Chamber
  • West Plains Chamber of Commerce
  • Greater Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce
  • City of Spokane
  • Coeur d’Alene Tribe

In Coordination with

  • Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
  • NASA
  • Additional Defense OEMs


Press Inquiries: Maria Lusardi, [email protected]

ABOUT ATC MANUFACTURING: ATC is committed to advancing composites manufacturing and retaining American manufacturing jobs by providing low-cost solutions for lean thermoplastic composite part production at their purpose-built facility in Post Falls, Idaho. ATC is one of the few remaining independent thermoplastic composite suppliers, and maintains ISO 9001:2015, AS9100D and NADCAP certifications.